Athletics: Tom Walsh and Ryan Crouser ready for big show

Olympic medallists Eliza McCartney and Tom Walsh will share the spotlight with Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser at the Auckland Track Challenge at AUT Millennium Stadium on Sunday.

The two New Zealand stars will front after very good lead-up performances in the International Athletics Series over the last week.

Walsh set a New Zealand resident record at the Big Shot event in Christchurch last Sunday, while McCartney vaulted superbly at the Vertical pursuit event in Britomart on Wednesday evening.

Both events drew large, appreciative crowds keen to see the international stars up close on their home turf.

Crouser will be the target for 2016 World Indoor and Diamond League champion Walsh.

The imposing American threw a huge 22.05m to beat the Kiwi champion by 0.59m in Christchurch and Walsh will be keen to get closer or even beat Crouser in their second contest of the series.

Jacko Gill will also be keen to get close to his recent best of 21.01 at the track where he has set World Junior records.

"These events are hugely important for athletics in New Zealand," said Walsh.

"It's awesome to be able to show the New Zealand public what we do in these cool boutique meets. Since we had such a great competition in Rio it's good to show off not just what I do but also what Eliza, Nick and Val do."

"We don't have the money to put on the bigger competitions, and I don't think that's the way that Athletics is going. I think the comps are meant to be smaller, more compact, king of like Twenty Twenty's."

- NZ Herald

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